I was on social media enlightening myself with the news making the rounds when I stumbled across the picture of a beautiful lady on my ex’s profile. As unserious as I could be, I jokingly asked her to connect me with her beautiful friend and she said categorically and I quote “sorry I can’t give you her pin, if you need a girl, my friends are out of it”. I wasn’t serious obviously but her reaction took me aback.
I was still laughing away at her harsh and very blunt response when a friend pinged to ask the “is it okay to date your friend’s ex?” question. The same question I have gotten on previous occasions and it dawned on me that I didn’t have any article to address the issue. So here goes.
Dating a friend’s ex or an ex’s friend as the case may be isn’t as smooth sailing as it ought to be. You would think if someone is an ex, that means their love life is over but incidents of ex’s still in love with each other or fooling around sexually isn’t news anymore. But when is it okay to date an ex’s friend?
1. They have moved on: Imagine a girl who gets heartbroken by her boyfriend and he moves on. She’s doesn’t move on because she still has feelings for him. She happens to somehow “like” his friend because he is nice and was there for her. She dates him for being “nice” but hasn’t moved on from her ex. Then one day, her ex wakes up from his love coma and wants her back but he is very good friends with her current boyfriend. She still loves her ex. How would this end without someone’s head broken or someone’s heart shattered. Before dating a friend’s ex or an ex’s friend, make sure you are done for good or he/she is done for good. No emotional backlog.
2. How long also matters: Angela and Dave dated for 8 years and were poised to end up at the altar when Angela unintentionally got pregnant for someone else. She aborted but the damage had being done. Dave intended forgiving her but his parents were having none of it. They broke up. She’s still in love with him and vice versa. Then Angela’s new best friend (they weren’t even friends when the relationship between her and Dave lasted) falls for Dave. Can she maintain a relationship with both Dave and Angela without someone getting hurt?
3. Dont rub it in: Its one thing dating a friend’s ex, its another thing rubbing it in. She’s your friend but she’s your current boyfriend’s ex and every time you see her you gosh about how wonderful he is, how nice and caring he is, how masterful he is in bed, how sweet and romantic he is. Even if she’s over him, rubbing it in is bound to open closed wounds which is a recipe for disaster.
4. No secret: John is aware that his guy Tega dated Jennifer way back. In fact he wanted her back then but she fell for Tega instead. After the break up, he decides to make a move on his friend’s ex without informing his guy. Tega comes to his house to visit him impromptu and finds his ex half naked in his guy’s house. Nothing wrong with that since they legimately broke up (Tega and Jennifer) but the secrecy behind the relationship is bound to raise some suspicions in Tega’s mind like “was she cheating on me with him before we broke up?” or “did she end it with me to be with him?”. Avoiding such questions is key.
5. Are they okay with it?: There is nothing more stressful than dating a friend’s ex who is not okay with your relationship. Not only will it dampen your friendship, it will cause a strain in your relationship. Not that a friend’s consent is compulsory before dating his/her ex. Far from it. But to avoid awkward situations, you are better off telling your friend before embarking on the relationship. If she/he fails to give his/her consent then its time to decide which to let go for another to thrive. The friendship or the relationship. Choose wisely.